It’s no surprise that #AerieREAL Role Model and Self-Care Activist, Iskra, picked Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming. Iskra was inspired and empowered by the former First Lady’s story of growing up on the South Side of Chicago to eventually creating change during her time at the White House. Find out her biggest takeaways from the memoir, then comment below and share your thoughts with your Aerie fam.
Why did you choose this book?
I chose this book because I had the honor of speaking at an event. Michelle entered the room and there aren’t many people who give a whole room of people chills. She was electric.
She has a special power and I was fascinated to read this book to get more of an insight of how she became such a powerhouse, such an inspiration to not just one group of people, but honestly to a whole country. She was the most inspiring First Lady that anyone could ever look up to. That is why I had to get my hands of this book and I actually got gifted it from my parents – that was really sweet!
What stuck with you from this book (no spoilers, please!):
Hard to not give any spoilers away, but it really is intimate portrayal of Michelle’s life and her relationship with Barack. I think one of the most special takeaways is that they ask each other all the time how are they feeling, how are they doing, and they continue to get to know each other. I thought that was really special because we all go through different seasons in our lives and we all go through different challenges and different evolutions. They were all about checking in with each other and making sure that they were growing together not apart. Also, learning about their partnership when they were raising their girls to me was very interesting because I’m at that time in life where I want to use all that information because they have not had normal lives. Even though I can’t compare my life to theirs, I really did relate to some of the things she was talking about and I just love that she came from something and remained true to herself even though her whole life just changed so dramatically. It’s really hard to comprehend what she went through but she stayed true to her murals, her values, and she kept fighting for the same beliefs that she always held.
What you hope readers take away from it:
I hope that readers take away from the book that it shouldn’t be out of grasp: anything is possible for anyone. No matter where you are from, or what opportunities you feel like you have, you can make something out of your life. You are powerful just by being you!
Did you relate to any of the characters in the book? Tell us why!
Yes I left a whole different country on my own to really chase my dreams. I have constantly tried to keep in touch with who I am, what my values are, and what was instilled with my family. I feel like I’ve used that to keep a sense of self and always tried to fight for what I believe in. No matter the challenges I have faced, I’ve just really believed I can always do something. I believe the purpose I am trying to fulfill in my life is worth it and I think by believing in your worth, you stay on the right track pushing forward. I really feel like Michelle has that same energy towards mission and purpose-driven journeys. Even though it sounds ridiculous saying you can relate to a first lady, she is human. She is vulnerable. I really appreciate that.
As you’re reading Becoming or if you’ve already finished it, we want to know what you think! Use these discussion questions as a guide and share your thoughts in the comments section.
- Mrs. Obama starts her memoir with a simple story about making cheese toast at home after leaving the White House. Why do you think she chose to start her memoir with this moment?
- What were the biggest lessons that Mrs. Obama learned from her mother?
- There is no job description for “First Lady.” What do you think it should be?
- In the epilogue of her memoir, Mrs. Obama shares: “I’ve never been a fan of politics, and my experience over the last ten years has done little to change that.” Were you surprised by this statement? Why?
- What is the significance of the book’s title to you?
Now it’s your turn! Comment below and share your thoughts.